When at ISTE this past summer, I attended a session facilitated by Julie Lindsay about The Flat Classroom Project. I had heard of it before, but hearing about it from Julie and teachers who have participated made it even more appealing. I’m always looking for projects that will support teachers and students as we work toward our school-wide goal of connecting, collaborating, and sharing with an audience beyond our classrooms.
I sent an email to our faculty just before school started about The Flat Classroom. In the email I proposed that one teacher from each of our grade spans (K-2, 3-4, 5-8) join a project and that I would support them fully with the technology and even pay for their class to participate. Within a very short amount of time, I got 15 positive replies from teachers across all of the grade spans. It’s so much fun to work with this faculty!
Eventually, the 15 got whittled down to 8 teachers, with ten classes all together. The projects vary depending on the grade span. We have 3 teachers at the K-2 level engaging in the Building Bridges project, 3 teachers at the 3-4 level have joined A Week in the Life, and 2 teachers with 5-8 students are each doing the Digitween project with two of their classes.
The projects are getting underway. It does require that the teachers attend regular webinars to find out the next steps. They are using a variety of digital tools like Edmodo, wikis, Voicethread, and much more. We’re at the stage where students and/or classrooms are designing their ‘handshake’ to introduce themselves to others. Soon they’ll be discussing relevant topics and collaborating on projects with other students from all over.
I’ll most likely have another post down the road to share more about what transpires, but I wanted to share about the amazing teachers we have here. They are so willing to try something new, put themselves out there, take on more work, and dive in.